Prior to his work for two seasons with the Weston family at The Windsor Club in Florida, Chavot was head chef at The Capital Restaurant for ten years, holding two Michelin stars there for nine. And the Frenchman told BigHospitality he is happy to be back in the UK.
“I’ve got a family and my two boys, so I’m glad to be back here, but I didn’t miss the weather,” said Chavot. “The work ethic is completely different in America and I had to adapt myself, but I’m glad I did it.”
Update: Brasserie Chavot will be opening on 11 March at 41 Conduit Street, Mayfair. Menus have still not been revealed but Chavot has hinted at the following: White bean velouté, foie gras boudin blanc; Grilled sardine escabèche; Venison carpaccio, pickled red cabbage; Daube de boeuf, garniture grand-mère; Sea bream with tapenade dressing and fennel; Mont Blanc; and Gâteau Basque.
Earlier in his career, the chef ran Chavot in Fulham and Interlude de Chavot in Charlotte Street, but he believes Brasserie Chavot is the restaurant he has always wanted.
“After 10 years at The Capital, I decided it was time to move on,” he added. “I wasn’t the owner or a partner, I was just an employee. And I started looking at what everybody else was doing – Gordon (Ramsay), Phil (Howard) at the Square – so I decided I wanted to do something of my own as well.
“Actually, since I was an apprentice, I always said to myself that I wanted my own restaurant. The site (in Conduit Street) is just so me. I began working in London in 1986. If you imagine a Monopoly board, and you finally buy Mayfair – I was delighted with it.
“There’s a beautiful six-meter bar at the back, and I want to do a seafood bar there, with all the salads and starters down there. It’s a no-brainer - we’re not in the Westbury Hotel, we’re next door to it with its own separate entrance. It has a beautiful mosaic floor as well, lots of nice touches.
“The menu will featurecontemporary and classic French cooking. It’s not going to be an all-day restaurant - I will do a lunch, dinner and pre-theatre, with 70-75 seats. We’re pricing ourselves at £35 plus per head for lunch and £55 plus for dinner.”
The chef went on to reveal that, based on the success of Brasserie Chavot, he hopes to expand the concept and potentially launch something new.
“I’m already thinking of tweaking this into something slightly different. I want to plan more than one, I’ve got a couple of plans. My main concern right now is to fill the restaurant and once I’ve done that, I will see what else comes my way.”